Friday, September 4, 2009

Review: Adventureland

Without a doubt the best soundtrack of 2009 comes from a little movie named Adventureland. The Greg Mottola (Superbad director) effort features an unknown in the lead role and focuses on the Summer of 1987. With the 80's setting comes all of the benefits of the decade: Fantastic music, totally rad clothing styles and spontaneous groovy dance moves. Simply put, Adventureland is everything that was cool about the 1980's.

Jessie Eisenburg plays James Brennan, a slightly dorky college graduate who is trying to save money for grad school by working a Summer at the local amusement park. He ends up meeting a colorful cast of characters including bit parts by Ryan Reynold, Bill Hader and Kristen Wigg. Kristen Stewart from Twilight fame plays the main love interest. This is the first time I'd seen Stewart since she was Jodie Foster's daughter in Panic Room and I must say she really seems to be beautiful, talented and a candidate for the next great actress of her generation. She does a really good job of portraying teen angst in the 80's. The rest of the cast is solid as well and completes the time warp effect.

The story and pacing are well done and the soundtrack totally supplements the overall plot. You've heard all these songs before but never quite in this manner. As awesome as Falco's Rock Me Amadeus is, it becomes a hilarious punch line throughout the film. Overall I would recommend this flick to just about anyone who experienced the decade.
Those who were born in the late 80's or 90's will not appreciate this as much. This is one of the best films of the year and a lighthearted break from the Star Treks, District Nines and Hurt Lockers of the Summer. I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5 JRs and fully expect bigger and better things out of Jessie Eisenberg who seems to have a much brighter career path than his doppelganger Michael Cera. He stars in the promising upcoming Zombieland (how many "land" movies can he be in?) with Woody Harrelson.

The Return of Beavis & Butthead?

Let it be known that my favorite cartoon of all-time is not South Park or the Simpsons or even the delightful Ren and Stimpy. Back in the mid-90's a juggernaut of comedic delight was born thanks to creator Mike Judge. Beavis and Butthead remains the pinnacle of television comedy for me. Some found it juvenile and annoying but I was fascinated with the subtle humor and voicing genius of Judge. The personalities of the two lead misfits complemented each other perfectly and when I stumble across reruns on MTV2 I feel compelled to stop and reminisce. The humor still holds up for me after over a decade since the show went off the air.

Imagine my joy and optimism once I read this exclusive interview with Mike Judge where he throws around the idea of a triumphant return to the big screen for the dynamic duo. Judge says that he's always imagined an older Beavis and Butthead working for a tech support company. Now that he's done with his latest film Extract and is retiring King of the Hill (and not a moment too soon), he may have time over the next few years to revisit B&B.

I think the idea of putting Beavis and Butthead in a tech support environment is genius. There are so many storyline possibilities and Judge could take advantage of the comedic goldmine that would be the Internet. The TV series ended before the internet took flight in the mainstream. I can totally see Butthead saying, "huh huh huh uh huh... Facebook... huh huh huh... you said Face." I'd love to see a return to television as well but Judge doesn't seem to bring that up as an option in his interview. I can envision Comedy Central getting on-board for a new Beavis and Butthead series.

For now I'll keep my expectations in check and simply hope that Judge considers bringing the concept out of storage. Below is a recent video of Beavis and Butthead promoting Extract proving that Judge's voice still has it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Worst... Website... Ever!


Seriously, I think my four-year-old son could build a more stylistically appealing website than this disaster. The odd folks at HavenWorks.com have set a design standard that is hard to beat for shear awfulness. It's almost as if the developers (can we really call them that?) had a contest to see how many colors, images and font sizes they could use on one page. Some of the subpages (including the News Archives page) are equally as vomit inducing.

NOTE: If you scroll down to the bottom of this never ending page of clutter you'll see this link to other sites designed by "Hermit". My favorite is "Jeremy. Musician and Singer."